Let's Get Honest! Absolutely Uncommon Analysis of Family & Conciliation Courts' Operations, Practices, & History

Identify the Entities, Find the Funding, Talk Sense!

Welcome to My Blog. Let’s Get Honest….

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This is the shortest post you’ll see on it.


Also, for a while, it’s “Sticky” meaning stuck to the top position, and new material will show underneath it.   To see if there’s a new current post, either scroll past it, or look to right (I have a feed showing recent post titles).


This blog reports on what certain other advocacy groups (nonprofits, and professionals associated with them) won’t touch, probably because it will probably cost them their HHS or DOJ grant on how to solve the problems that these grants have helped create in the first place.  (If that shoe doesn’t fit, don’t take offence).   I’m not on that funding stream, and so less (financially, professionally) motivated to self-censor actually reporting on who did what.

Let’s talk Financial Accountability vs. Fraud on the Courts.

Most people can understand the general concept of false claims, or billings, when it comes to healthcare, Medicare, etc. — and there are major incentives to crack down on fraud upon government services.  For example, from a general search on (actually, the “Claims Act of 2010” which authorized more marriage and fatherhood funding), I found: at Thomson Reuters News and Insight featuring content from WestLaw,  3/24/11 article:

2010 year-end False Claims Act update: Part 1

(by:  By Robert C. Blume, Andrew S. Tulumello, and Jessica H. Sanderson, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP)

False Claims Act litigation and enforcement exploded in 2010 with unprecedented intensity.  Indeed, the government secured more than $3 billion in civil settlements and judgments for its fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2010 — a 25 percent increase over the previous year, and the second-largest yearly recovery amount ever.  The Justice Department’s total recoveries in False Claims Act cases from January 2009 through January 2011 have exceeded $6.8 billion, which is far greater than any other previous two-year period.  With these new numbers on the books, the total amount recovered under the False Claims Act since Congress amended the statute in 1986 has climbed to the staggering amount of more than $27 billion.1

One of my goals is to get people to realize that the other arena that needs to have “false claims act” applied to it is the entire psychology- and quasi-religious-theory-based programs for “strengthening families,” promoting responsible fatherhood (and marriage, and abstinence education, and relationship skills education which will help prevent divorce, which of course causes poverty, and reduce poverty, — oh yes, and help enable fathers to be motivated and/or able to pay child support, which will reduce welfare, which will then just about flip pancakes and bake an apple pie in every home, primarily by putting a father (any kind will do) in there somehow.

Allegedly these programs will also prevent child abuse.

MEANWHILE . . . BACK AT THE RANCH . . . .  (Pennsylvania Avenue in D.C.) — well, let’s read it from “FATHERHOOD.HHS.GOV

Responsible Fatherhood Grants

The Claims Resolution Act of 2010 provides funding of $150 million in each of five years for healthy marriage promotion and responsible fatherhood.  Each year, $75 million may be used for activities promoting fatherhood, such as counseling, mentoring, marriage education, enhancing relationship skills, parenting, and activities to foster economic stability.


The Claims Settlement Act of 2010 increased fatherhood and marriage programs, profiting many programs the HHS (public money) helps set up, and almost as fast as this happens, they are showing up in news reports as “take the money and run” or simply dropping off the map as to incorporation, which I know (and you can) because I look things up.   “Show me the money” (via tax return, preferably).   Men and Brethren, Women and Sistern (?)these things ought not to be!

This, despite our nation’s debt being (hear tell) about 100% of GDP.  This was not immediately evident in the signing comments (in fact it wasn’t mentioned), but it was eagerly anticipated by people who specialize in the field and live off it, instead off of honest work producing a wanted product, or food, clothing or housing.  Groups that incorporate just to get the grants, such as NARME, which has a membership based on a sliding scale, and some members are themselves federal beneficiaries of various grants streams already.

(NARME is an association formed in Florida after Dennis Stoica, who incorporated California Healthy Marriages Coalition, had its and a few other groups he incorporated there, get suspended — probably for failure to file — in California.  This was eagerly greated by an abstinence organization of chameleon-incorporation abilities as well, from Colorado, called (depending on which year is referenced), either WAITT Training or Center for Relationship Education, I DNR exactly just now.  They all like to reference each other and get the jumpstart on the next set of grants, which is helpful if someone actually working IN the HHS is there to clue you in, such as Bill Coffin:

From: NARME <julie@narme.org>
Date: Thu, Jun 9, 2011 at 5:10 PM
Subject: Dennis Stoica teaching a webinar on ACF grant announcements June 17 for NARME members
To: billcoffin[[[]]]@[[]]mail.com

On Friday June 17 from 1:30 pm to 3:00 pm (ET), NARME Board Member Dennis Stoica (President of California Healthy Marriages Coalition) will conduct a 90-minute webinar – for NARME Members only – comparing and contrasting the six different grant announcements which are scheduled to be released earlier that week.

Bill Coffin, (who doesn’t need his email published here), brief bio on the same site reads:

  • Working with NARME and CA Healthy Marriages Coalition on a part-time basis.
  • Was [??]]Exec Dir of IDEALS (Jan-Aug 2011)  {{IDEALS is on my site, searchable, including the HHS grants they got….}}
  • From 2002-10 [[that’s 8 years….]] I was the Special Assistant for Marriage Education at ACF/HHS

Incidentally below I mention a Unification connection to marriage promotion;  CHMC is one place it happens — see their staff.

Bill Coffin on Youtube in a controversial “Family Strengthening Summit” in Kansas . . . . He is Catholic, obviously:

His passion is marriage education and enrichment.  Years ago Bill served part time as the Marriage Preparation Coordinator for the Archdiocese of Washington and as a consultant to the U.S. Bishops Committee on Marriage and Family Life.  He co-authored a book chapter on Preventive Interventions for Couples.

Because in 2000, the US elected (??- – ??) a Bush as President, we quickly got an Executive Order ensuring the people such as Mr. Coffin, along with their program material, can now be paid for by all of us in order to market web-based (primarily), for-profit products such as are “Relationship Education” and pay for companies to be set up (nonprofit, of course) to market this, soliciting customers through most traditional public institutions AND churches, synagouges, mosques and anything remotely “faith-based” although that first sector above, describes the primary source of customers I’m sure (outside captive audiences such as, er, prison population….).
Child Support Enforcement thus becomes a very fertile ground indeed — for certain people plowing, sowing, fertilizing and reaping from the field.  Meanwhile — private corporations such as Maximus pay multi-million$$ settlements on THEIR “Fraudulent Claims” lawsuits, too (which I report on).
And yet, the yearly budget for Child Support Enforcement is around $4 billion, and has been for a while.  Of this, the Health & Human Services Auditor(HHS/OIG/OAS)  said openly (this report is from October 2007, Report# OEI-06-06-00070, on State Use of Debt Compromise


The Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) estimates that $100 billion in unpaid child support has accumulated since the inception of a national CSE program in 1972. In an effort to reduce or eliminate possibly uncollectible debt, some States use debt compromise, a process whereby a State settles a portion or all of the child support debt owed to the State by a noncustodial parent. . . . 

In fiscal year (FY) 2005, State CSE agencies overall collected 60 percent of the $29 billion due in current support and 7 percent of the $107 billion due in arrearages. However, 40 percent of noncustodial parents with arrearages paid nothing toward their arrearages in 2005. 2 State collection rates for both current support and arrearages are among the criteria OCSE considers in determining incentive funding to States.3 States have implemented a number of strategies to reduce arrearages, including the use of debt compromise.

Debt compromise resulted in an average of $9,383 settled per case in selected States, with lump sum payments made in 45 percent of cases and averaging $5,515. In the five States, the estimated average arrearage per case was $22,029, of which $9,383 was settled. Noncustodial parents in 45 percent of cases paid lump sums at the time of the agreements averaging $5,515, which was disbursed to States for reimbursement of public assistance and/or to custodial parents for payment of past due child support.

When sample cases remained open following debt compromise, four of five States did not routinely follow up when noncustodial parents paid irregularly.

I don’t figure those quotes were digestible at first glance.  Basically, any local child support agency (usually at county level) is really controlled at the Federal Level by a series of carrots and sticks approach — “do you want your candy?  Then collect X % of arrearages, and maintain these types of cases!!!

While it’s illegal to retroactively reduce child support, the states naturally want their funding, so a way was found to get around astounding failure of rates (would not be a pass in a math or reading test, at least I hope not, in elementary schools; either you can add & subtract (or read) or you cannot.  NOT SO when it comes to government magical accounting processes:

Title IV-D of the Social Security Act made child support payments a judgment “with the full force, effect and attributes of a State judgment.”6 Although child support debt cannot be retroactively modified, this provision allows States to settle assigned arrearages if State law allows. This provision means that States may reduce arrearages in the same manner they might settle any other debt owed the State. Depending on the policies of individual States, reductions in child support debt are determined by State or local courts, by State CSE agencies, or by a combination of the two.

CSE officials in States with programs report a largely positive view of debt compromise, although a few express concern that settling debt is contrary to the enforcement process.


Now whose children are at risk here?  The CSE officials’ ??  CSE officials are paid at the county level, it is their livelihood to protect their jobs and their profession, which by its own mission continues to “evolve.”  More on that in a bit…

In order to meet the percentage of arrears owed, the states (sometimes not telling the custodial parent at the time, who has mouths to feed and is probably stuck in some sort of court battle for custody, because of child support to start with) simply settle the arrearages, and figure the children will just make do.

Based on a Mythology of Staggering Proportions:


So Child Support Enforcement (think $4 billion per year — enforcement/administrative activities only) in the hands of the Federal/State relationship becomes the Bed of Procrustes, who was FYI a robber posing as an innkeeper.

It stretches some parents beyond their means to pay, at which time they are given various alternatives to jail, including participate in certain diversionary programs, or begin a custody motion the parent may not even want, which enables & kickstarts fatherhood program availability to whoever is managing the local programs.   At the same time, in a different room of the same inn, it cuts off needed funds for the parent who may be simply trying to survive, or at the time, fighting desperately to retain contact with children (she, typically– because of the program funds) may have given birth to and raised.

This becomes a win/win — not for the customers who were fit to the bed (or their offspring).  For the program marketers, contractors, and creators — Because (unlike in the myth of Procrustes), no Greek hero walks in to put the robber in his place — instead, more accomplices are invited to the spectacle, to comment and report back to their handlers on the condition of the stretched out and mangled wayfarers, thus justifying further product expansion – – – usually in the form of “psychoeducational classes” which have prefab curricula, a franchise people can buy into by sitting through some trainings, and then be run somewhere, including in another facility set up by other portions of federal funds to solve the ongoing “PROBLEM” of moving down the highway of life in the presence of thieves and robbers posing as the Good Samaritan.


In this blog, I name many of the “accomplices” and also show their behaviors, including failing to incorporate and pay taxes properly, and skipping town when caught at their business to set up shop in another state.   I did not originate this material, I followed others who unearthed it earlier, developed a personal understanding and take on it, and as a byproduct, noted how many do-gooder nonprofits ALSO take the money and run, failing to warn the unwary about this upcoming Bed that fits no one.


The joke is basically on anyone who earns an honest income in the private sector and pays taxes. EXAMPLE:


GAO 2004 report on Undistributed Collections (get used to hearing about Millions here):

Child Support Enforcement: Better Data and More Information on Undistributed Collections Are Needed

GAO-04-377 March 19, 2004  (i.e., the report is over 7 years old….)

OCSE reported that the amount of undistributed collections for fiscal year 1999 was $545 million and $657 million for fiscal year 2002; however, these amounts may not be accurate. State agencies had different interpretations of what comprised undistributed collections and data reported by several state agencies were found to be unreliable throughout this time period. OCSE revised the reporting form, but data accuracy concerns remain, in part, because OCSE does not have a process to ensure the accuracy of undistributed collections data.

Getting the general picture yet?  This is one of the most invasive programs in the US, not including unnoticed wiretapping and the income tax to start with.  It affects employers hiring anyone, it affects people divorcing, it affects anyone in need of any social services tied to food or sustenance, it affects people leaving violent relationships and enables a family court judge to put a man or woman in jail indefinitely – because this type of law is not subject to sentencing guidelines, but is rather “coercive.”    And their own (GAO = General Accounting Office, as in the USA) report is “may not be accurate”, Data unreliable, does not have a process to ensure accuracy of data.  How reassuring!

Based on state agencies’ survey responses, GAO determined the median value of the undistributed collections from joint tax refunds was about $1.8 million and the median value of four other types of undistributed collections exceeded $350,000.

I suspect this is low, based on the fact that in 1999, a Los Angeles-based Attorney, working with a father, found that $14 million of undistributed collections was being held (and accruing interest, naturally) in the L.A. District Attorney’s office.  A lawsuit ensued, and because his incessant habit of unearthing such matters, then-attorney Richard Fine (age 69, degrees:  Harvard, Chicago, London School of Economics) was led away from the courtroom in handcuffs and put in solitary, coercive confinement hoping to break him.  It didn’t work, and 18 months later he was finally released, on Yom Kippur.

Groups representing women, and domestic violence, protective mothers (etc.) reported this some — but the ones receiving federal funding these days (which have been centralized under “[name your state] Coalition Against Domestic Violence” or names like “Family Justice Centers” went deaf, dumb and silent about the elephants in the room.



The next time you run into a shell-shocked Mama (she was indeed carpet bombed in the custody courts), understand where it came from — she wasn’t born that way, and it’s not a character defect.  I’ve learned to pick them out of the crowd in a crowded public place.  Some of these women are also found later, in early middle age (or before) — homeless.

The next time you run into some Dad complaining about how his constitutional rights were violated (which is probably true) — because the courts are biased against men (which is false), first, ask him how come the evil feminists outsmarted so many really smart white men in the U.S. Congress, in passing that nasty VAWA act.  Watch the reaction.  If you don’t get one, then ask him how many female mass-murderers (in the context of a “custody dispute” does he know of?  (*1)  That should get some anger, indicating you have probably got a religious zealot, someone who’s been in contact with a fathers’ rights group, or simply someone who repeats information without looking it up.

(Note:   “Looking it up” does not include quoting someone whose organization was endorsed by  the National Responsible Fatherhood Capacity Building Initiative-based  “College” run by the National Fatherhood Initiative as posted on fatherhood.gov, and quoting what one learned there, of from one of their recent graduates or long-term advocates.)

When we have a U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Reps that are both HALF women, and both halves of both those houses have a little more color in them, then I will listen to that “courts are biased against men” argument.  Anyone making that argument makes it from the position of a nation which is about half men, half women (see Census) and not anything close to that in its governing bodies OR religious institutions.  Women got the vote after freed male slaves, it was over 100 years from the founding of the country, which we helped settle, and plenty died in childbirth, too.

That said, let’s get honest — —

Honest fathers are being extorted as well through the child support system.  And, there is a much more serious issue here, which is that the courts have been turned into a mental health archipelago.  I was just looking at the Tadros v. Doyne case, in which a psychiatrist got severe retaliation — I mean lawsuits — for pointing out that one “qualification” of a popular custody evaluator from San Diego included a diploma also issued to a house cat.   Nor, apparently, was Stephen Doyne ever an adjunct professor at UCSD (San Diego).   See thepubliccourt.com (click on Custody Evaluators), and soon to be blogged here.  How did the courts respond to realizing the “qualifications” of one of their favorites came from one mis-statement and a diploma mill — did they repent in abject horror, and say:

“Oh?  One of our own is a fraud?  Well, let’s toss him to the wolves, let’s punish the reprehensible liar”


Instead (it seems) the outed diploma mill person sued Tadros for (like $1,000,000) for defamation, and the court ordered him to pay around $86,000 of attorney’s fees.  I don’t know the depth of the case, but I do know that, false credentials and exaggerated work history is pretty common for the field.  Particularly it seem sin San Diego (what IS it about that city?).   So no, it’s not only women that see the short end of the stick in Conciliation Courts, which is where people with “irreconciliable differences” go to be subjected to the gauntlet.

TOGETHER — not all, but SOME : : : :

Slowly, some men and women (without the Tea Party traits) are figuring out how to defang this beast — we may never resolve the gender issues, but we  definitely will help each other to share resources and insight to solve the financial issues, which are far more objective and harder to squabble about.   You can blame poverty on divorce, and the crime level on too many single (fertile) mothers, or abuse on religion or lack of religion, or lack of a biological father in a child’s life.  Not exactly common grounds there.  So let’s try it again — because I guarantee all of us, wars over religion (and myths) DO not cease.  So DO not let our own government play men v. women in this manner, or conservatives v. progressives, either.  Develop some boundaries, and talk sense.  Thomas Paine did

The recipe, approximately:


Broke & Disillusioned.  Or, as it may be, Angry, Focused, and Activist.

These financial issues relate to the nonprofits formed by public-paid employees to peddle for-profit products (and services) through the courts.  This goes so far up that the originating nonprofits (AFCC/CRC etc.) have figured out how to simply re-structure the courts to create more market niches for their colleagues.


Women like me (there are some) eventually do burn out, but we still represent something of a danger to the status quo for what we do AFTER we’ve lost the things we can be extorted and intimidated around, namely, access to see our own children, or in some cases, any vestiges of a work life, after years of battling — using wrong strategy, no real effective weapons (note:  truth is not a weapon in the company of liars) and not knowing the lay of the land, let alone who the natives are.  It’s surreal country — either that, or the one we were inhabiting mentally before encountering this hidden trap, spread in all 50 states – was a foggy surreal existence with an expiration date.

Context and speakers are everything when it comes to meaning.  This blog has moved from, originally, semi-therapeutic and speaking bout against (you name it) through exposing the DV agency sell-outs right alongside the FR groups.  I take on topics that colleagues won’t (such as the faith-based farce, or connections between the family court funding and the Unification Church).


Technical matters:  Tags are less reliable the search function.  If you want to find something (including your name I might have reported on), use the search function.  I don’t spellcheck and copyedit, and don’t care that I don’t, either.  Also this blog is probably going to stop growing (but stay up as a resource) at the end of 2011.  It has served its purpose, including to help me through a difficult time by allowing expression, Freedom of Speech — a treasure not safe to exercise during marriage or custody proceedings, which are now a moot point; my kids have “aged out” which is one of only two known exits to the system (typically) and thank God no one took the other exit and dragged one of us through that same door of no return.


There are few comments on here, however, the visitor stats (I have the IPs) consistently show that governments, colleges, and some courts watch this site, and at least a few of them have cleaned up parts of their act since I began naming names.

May my loss of time with my daughters, at work, and materially in the courts be someone else’s gain;

I will never be the same again and have come out better.

Let’s Kick Ass* and Take Names.   Welcome to my  Blog!

(*That’s a figure of speech, not an incitement to a physical assault, obviously!  Actually, one can kick some ass by a form of taking names called writing a “FOIA” letter.  Parents in Pennsylvania recently did this, and in gallops the FBI to scoop up evidence, outcome still TBA.)


“No man can enter into a man’s house, and spoil his goods,

except he first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil the home.”**

(**Context – see Bible, Mark 3, what Jesus — having healed the sick, cast out devils, called the 12 disciples together to a mountain, to teach and empower them to do EXACTLY WHAT HE”D JUST BEEN DOING, and attracted a crowd.   His friend tried to have him committed, and the scribes came down accusing — “he casts out devils by the prince of devils.”

Sounds to me like Jesus, in healing and delivering people “bound the strong man” in their lives — he didn’t start initiatives, training institutes, or run batterers’ intervention programs.  And while I’m at it, in Mark 3 — Jesus got angry for the hardness of their hearts.  Whether anyone personally believes in Jesus Christ (I happen to), surely if this paragon of ethics gets angry  — without committing a crime (sin) — anger PER SE is not a crime; it may be a legitimate reaction to a circumstance of need, or danger.    What’s more guess what — Jesus had “conflict” in fact such high conflict that he was later killed, early in life, for failing to conform to expectations, and disturbing the status quo.

Apart from whether or not Jesus, God, the Prince of Devils (or devil spirits) are real or not — which in the USA is not supposed to affect whether one gets justice! — every “house” (outfit) has a strong man of some sort.  Jesus used “house” as an analogy for a person.  Let’s use it referring to the situation here.  So . . . .


Who is the strong man in the courts?  Who are the ‘strong men’ in the courts overall?

Visitors — Are you here to plead to authorities, find more excuses for some result you got in the courts (I won’t agree), be a spectator?

I’ll say it again:

Let’s Kick Ass* and Take Names.  Get the Lay of the Land.

Welcome to my  Blog!


I’m not looking for the masses (but know who is).  Just a few good men AND women who have it together to blog, report, and act on this.  How many people know how influential a single nonprofit from Denver (run at one time by six women) is in this arena?  Any idea which one and when it incorporated, what they do?


(*1) Seal Beach, California Fall 2011.  8 people shot to death by a disgruntled father wearing a bulletproof vest in and just outside a beauty salon.

Shortly before, a father abducted (Refused to return from visitation) the toddler of a woman who’d given birth, I think, at age 44.  She worked in the California Attorney General’s Office.  Because it was a parental abduction, Amber Alert? (per practice) was delayed several days.  The little girl was found dead, with her father, both shot and also in a car with (as I recall) exhaust fumes in it.  The paternal grandparent blamed it on the courts; he also had been under criminal investigation previously for financial fraud.  (Samaan/Fay).

The Attorney General is the TOP of the criminal enforcement heap in any state.  District Attorney’s — which is who prosecutes any criminal case — are under the AG.  If this woman, working in that office, could not get some inside help to save her little girl’s life. then I’ll have to assume that family courts have just taken priority over criminal, at least in California. However, as it happens, they often work together, it’s called “collaborating” to “help” victims.  It’s a nice retirement package (Family Justice Center Alliance), unlike many of the parents going through the court systems who may not have this afterwards.

Abuse, Violence, Batterers, Crime, and Sexism (etc.) as well as Racism all really do exist, sure, yeah.   But, as the Bible says, it’s the love of money that is at the root of all evil.  In this context, hardly anyone teaches women (in particular) to simply look things up.   Well, I do, and you had better develop that skill FAST.  I report what your nonprofit domestic violence agency didn’t tell you; and my revenge on the past is to do this for free, except for mental exercise, and it’s about time you stopped quoting & re-blogging everyone else, and started researching something you can verify on your own.  HINT:  the answer to what’s happening in the courts isn’t IN the courts, it’s OUTSIDE the courts.


I am not an attorney and this is not legal advice.

Welcome to my Blog




See also:  “A Short History of How . .  “(on-line since 1993), to which I owe the start of this blog….


(by Para.3, after Paras. 1 & 2 have probably offended someone (truth often does) …start taking notes, …)

If the style is a little “In Your Face” it’s because I wish that Liz Richard’s NAFCJ site had been in mine during the previous years in the family court system. There’s also a reason it’s author doesn’t get gilt-edged invitations to “Wingspread Conferences on Domestic Violence and the Family Courts (2007 example*)” on what to do when paradigms collide (it was a crime — it was a disease — stop it — intervene — treat it — prevent it — it was a family dispute, etc.) — or invitations to add a chapter to a recent compilation of “Domestic Violence, Child Abuse and Custody,” (co. 2010) namely that the book doesn’t handle the child support system, finances at all — pretty funny when one of the (well-intentioned, and decent person) lead editors had a high-profile case where the supervised visitation person (Viola Stroud) was eventually nailed by someone else, not for a poorly written review (if she wrote any) — but for financial fraud, and ordered to repay $30,000 she’d stolen from a woman blind and brain-damaged after a car crash, being her court-appointed guardian!  Meanwhile, Barry Goldstein lost his “Esq.” over the Genia Shockome case, and last I heard — that case is still open in another state.  JUST THINK what might happen if enough people, tired of “shining the light” on bad custody decisions, instead started burning the midnight oil (like I did) and studying something slightly different and much less subjective — in the matters of family court.


* From Wingspread 2007 conference:

“Although domestic violence is commonly recognized as a serious and widespread problem, there is a surprising lack of agreement about its nature, causes, frequency, and appropriate legal treatment.” (the paper also uses the word “triage” so I guess the preferable discussion of DV is that it’s some kind of disease).  One theme of this conference (between NCJFCJ & AFCC) is that domestic violence is really hard to discern because partners tend to conceal it when coming in for divorce (never mind that many of them first file for a protective order and show up with injuries, or it’s reported), so the experts had better get out their microscopes to screen for it…


(When the original analysis is good, there’s not a need for 15 more conferences to further explicate it, and 45 grants to fund “promising practices in preventing” (whatever . . . .. .)

Written by Let's Get Honest|She Looks It Up

November 30, 2011 at 3:01 am

2 Responses

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  1. Speaking of Rights to Know and Freedom of Information Requests, looks like CA legislature is fighting the news media on just how much they have to release:

    Note: This is a good news source to check regularly: see site description


    Newspapers Fight Legislature’s Stiff-Arm
    SACRAMENTO (CN) – As California newspapers and state lawmakers prepare for a Friday hearing on the media’s right to information about legislative spending, newly filed court documents claim the Legislature routinely responds to requests for information by releasing “limited information” that is “woefully incomplete” and “misleading at best.”
    The Los Angeles Times and Sacramento Bee sued the Legislature in August, claiming that lawmakers consistently block newspapers’ attempts to glean information about the Assembly’s spending.
    A media probe into the battle between Assembly Speaker John Perez, D-Los Angeles, and Assemblyman John Portantino, D-La Canada Flintridge, over Portantino’s ballooning office expenditures led to the information requests, which the Assembly rejected, resulting in the lawsuit.


    December 1, 2011 at 11:29 am

    • and . . . from the same site’s home page:

      Enough With the Copy Fees, Class Says
      SACRAMENTO (CN) – Strangled by the parlous state of California’s budget, counties are jacking up fees for copies of public records, but Sacramento County has gone way too far, charging $13 for page 1 and $3 for each additional page of electronic copies, which violates state law, a research group says in a class action.


      December 1, 2011 at 11:37 am

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